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Governance and the Sustainable Development Goals

Lund University - 5 credits, third cycle

The 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals
The UN Sustainable Development Goals. Photo.

Are you a doctoral student with an interest in the governance of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals? Then this course is for you.

About the course


The course provides a critical introduction to the governance of sustainable development and the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals. It emphasizes the challenges of implementing the 2030 Agenda with a special focus on low-and middle-income countries and poverty reduction.

The development of the 2030 Agenda and the current status of the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals will be discussed. Different theoretical perspectives and concepts related to governance will also be introduced and applied on empirical examples stemming from global, national, and local levels of sustainable development governance.

Doctoral students will be asked to connect their own research projects to the themes of the course and to bring in their perspectives on the 2030 Agenda from different disciplinary backgrounds.

Syllabus and a litterature list can be found below. 

Please note that future course dates are pending. 

Eligibility and selection 


To be eligible for the course, applicants must meet the general eligibility requirements for postgraduate studies. A good knowledge of English is essential.

The course is open to doctoral students from all fields of social sciences and related fields of study.

Priority will be given to doctoral students in the Development Research School. Other applicants will be assessed and accepted on the basis of the relevance of their PhD project to the course theme.

The course is free of charge.


 

SST007F Governance and the Sustainable Development Goals

Third cycle, 5 credits

General information 

The course is offered as a freestanding course at the Department of Political Science for doctoral students interested in sustainable development research and the governance of the United Nations 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals. The course builds upon theoretical perspectives and concepts that are applied on empirical examples from different sustainable development fields and governance levels. The language of instruction is English.

Learning outcomes 

On completion of the course, students shall be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals, including processes and challenges related to its realisation at global, national, and local levels, based on research in the field. 
  • identify key elements of governance in relation to the 2030 Agenda and compare these across countries, levels of governance, and issue areas. 
  • use theoretical perspectives and concepts to analyse governance challenges of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals.
  • critically assess strengths and weaknesses of the 2030 Agenda from different perspectives on governing sustainable development. 

Course content

The course provides a critical introduction to the governance of sustainable development and the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals. It emphasizes the challenges of implementing the 2030 Agenda with a special focus on low-and middle-income countries and poverty reduction. The development of the 2030 Agenda and the current status of the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals will be discussed.

Different theoretical perspectives and concepts related to governance will also be introduced and applied on empirical examples stemming from global, national, and local levels of sustainable development governance. Doctoral students will be asked to connect their own research projects to the themes of the course and to bring in their perspectives on the 2030 Agenda from different disciplinary backgrounds. 

Course design 

The course consists of online lectures and seminars with discussions and presentations. Seminars require preparations and active participation of course participants. Such preparations will be both individual and group-based.

Assessment

All seminars are mandatory. The assessment is based on active participation at the seminars, through oral presentations and written assignments including a final paper. 

Grades

The grades awarded are Pass or Fail. To receive a Pass the doctoral student must fulfil the learning outcomes of the course. 

At the beginning of the course, students will be informed about the learning outcomes stated in the syllabus as well as the grading scale and how it is applied at the course. 
 

Governance and the Sustainable Development Goals

Third cycle, 5 credits

Literature 

Books


Bexell, Magdalena and Jönsson, Kristina (2021) The Politics of the Sustainable Development Goals. Legitimacy, Responsibility, and Accountability. Routledge: London and New York. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/oa-mono/10.4324/9781003043614/polit…;

Biermann, Frank, Hickmann, Thomas, and Sénit, Carole-Anne, eds. (2022) The Political Impact of the Sustainable Development Goals: Transforming Governance Through Global Goals? Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK. https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/the-political-impact-of-the-sustai…

Articles


Bandola-Gill, Jystina (2022) Statistical entrepreneurs: the political work of infrastructuring the SDG indicators. Policy and Society (online first), 1-15 https://doi.org/10.1093/polsoc/puac013

Beisheim, Marianne and Fritzsche, Felicitas (2022) The UN High‐Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development: An orchestrator, more or less? Global Policy (online first), 1-11. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1758-5899.13112

Caballero, Paula (2019) The SDGs: Changing how development is understood. Global Policy, 10, 138-140. 
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1758-5899.12629

Croese, Sylvia, Oloko, Michael, Simon, David, and Valencia, Sandra C. (2021) Bringing the global to the local: The challenges of multi-level governance for global policy implementation in Africa. International Journal of Urban Sustainable Development, 13(3), 435-447. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19463138.2021.1958335

Esquivel, Valeria (2016) Power and the Sustainable Development Goals: a 
feminist analysis, Gender & Development, 24:1, 9-23. Not OA,
https://doi.org/10.1080/13552074.2016.1147872 

Forestier, Oana and Kim, Rakhyun E. (2020) Cherry‐picking the Sustainable Development Goals: Goal prioritization by national governments and implications for global governance. Sustainable Development, 28(5), 1269-1278. 
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/sd.2082

Fukuda‐Parr, Sakiko (2019) Keeping out extreme inequality from the SDG Agenda–the politics of indicators. Global Policy, 10, 61-69. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1758-5899.12602

Fukuda-Parr, Sakiki and Hegestad, Thea Smaavik (2019) ”Leaving No One Behind” as a Site of Contestation and Reinterpretation. Journal of Globalization and Development, 9(2), 1-11. Not OA,  doi:10.1515/jgd-2018-0037 

Gupta, Joyeeta and Nilsson, Måns (2017) Toward a Multi-level Action Framework for Sustainable Development Goals. In Kanie, Norichika and Biermann, Frank (eds) Governing Through Goals: Sustainable Development Goals as Governance Innovation. MIT Press. (275-294) https://direct.mit.edu/books/book/3444/Governing-through-GoalsSustainab…;

Hajer, Maarten, Nilsson, Måns, Raworth, Kate, Bakker, Peter, Berkhout, Frans, De Boer, Yvo, Rockström, Johan, Ludwig, Kathrin, and Kok, Marcel (2015) Beyond cockpit-ism: Four insights to enhance the transformative potential of the sustainable development goals. Sustainability 7(2), 1651-1660. https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/7/2/1651

Sachs, Jeffrey D., Schmidt-Traub, Guidio, Mazzucato, Mariana, Messner, Dirk, Nakicenovic, Nebojsa, and Rockström, Johan (2019) Six transformations to achieve the sustainable development goals. Nature Sustainability, 2(9), 805-814. 

Sénit, Carole-Anne and Biermann, Frank (2021) In whose name are you speaking? The marginalization of the poor in global civil society. Global Policy, 12(5), 581-591. 
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/1758-5899.12997

Struckmann, Christiane (2018) A postcolonial feminist critique of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: A South African application, Agenda, 32:1, 12-24. (not OA) https://doi.org/10.1080/10130950.2018.1433362

van Driel, Melanie, Biermann, Frank, Kim, Rakhyun E. and Vijge, Marjanneke J. (2022) International organisations as ’custodians’ of the sustainable development goals? Fragmentation and coordination in sustainability governance. Global Policy (online first), 1-14. (14 pages) https://doi.org/10.1111/1758-5899.13114


Additional articles and reports chosen by the respective PhD students (ca 300 pages)

Reports and policy documents (not to be used in full)
Sachs, Jeffrey D. Guillaume Lafortune, Christian Kroll, Grayson Fuller, and Finn Woelm (2022) Sustainable Development Report 2022. From Crisis to Sustainable Development: the SDGs as Roadmap to 2030 and Beyond. Cambridge University Press. DOI 10.1017/9781009210058 (part of the report only) https://dashboards.sdgindex.org
United Nations (2016) Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. A/RES/70/1. https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N15/291/89/PDF/N1529189.p…;

Voluntary National Reviews: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/vnrs/

Voluntary Local Reviews: https://sdgs.un.org/topics/voluntary-local-reviews

Picture of Lund university logo

Practical information

Third cycle, 5 credits

Language of instruction 
English

Course period 
Early 2025

Any questions?

For enquiries about the course, please contact:

kristina [dot] jonsson [at] svet [dot] lu [dot] se (Kristina Jönsson)